Tuesday, 25 November 2014

What is a urban tumbler composting

How To Build a Homemade Compost Tumbler

I demonstrate how to build your own homemade compost tumbler in a really rough "how to" video.

1..... 45 gallon plastic drum ..... ($20)
2..... 2x6x10 boards .................. ($11.90)
1..... 1"x36" black iron pipe ...... ($9.93)
2..... 1" black iron caps ............. ($2.36)
2..... 1.25" plastic spacers ........ ($1.10)

For what ever reason there are two short clips in the middle that youTube doesn't upload. The audio remains but the video just pauses. I have no idea why, but apologize on behalf of YouTube and their slacker engineers and developers :)

what is compost tumbler.[read]

Compost Tumblers Are They Worth the Cost?

Some compost tumblers can cost up to $500. With an investment of that size you better be getting your money's worth. Don't worry though, we've put together a bunch of information to help in your buying decision. Who knows. we may just save you 500 bucks.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of compost tumbling, let's look at the basics.

What Does it Mean to "Tumble" Compost?

To "tumble" your compost simply means to turn your compost while it is inside some sort of closed container. These containers can range in both size and shape. There are compost tumblers that hold up to 12 cubic feet of material, whereas others can only hold 5-6 cubic feet of material (please note that these volumes are referring to raw uncomposted materials). Although most tumblers are purchased from a manufacturer, there are some great do-it-yourself plans on the net (see our compost tumbler plans section below).

There are three basic categories of compost tumbler:

  • Crank-operated - These tumblers usually consist of a horizontal drum fixed to a stationary frame. The drum is typically raised off the ground several feet. There is a long narrow pole positioned through the center of the drum, and a hand-crank sticking out of one end. Inside of the drum, this pole has paddles attached to it. Once filled, this type of tumbler is operated by rotating the hand-crank, and thus turns and aerates the compost ingredients within.

Crank-operated tumblers are usually double the price of other types of tumblers.

Examples of crank-operated tumblers include the Mantis ComposT-Twin and the ComposTumbler .

  • Center-axle - These tumblers are more like an over sized plastic pill capsule, and can be opened at one or both ends. These tumblers have a solid axle running through their center, and tend to sit vertically on this axis. Once filled, this tumbler is operated by flipping the drum end-over-end. When this flipping action occurs, the materials inside are sent from one end of the tumbler to the other. As the material flips, it is mixed and aerated as it passes over the center axle. Pretty ingenious, don't you think?

Center-axle tumblers usually range in price from $150-$250 US.

Examples of center-axle tumblers include the Urban Compost Tumbler and the Tumbleweed .

  • Base rolling - These tumblers consist of a horizontal drum that has been placed on top of rollers (similar to those found in the beer stores up in Canada). Compostable materials are added, and the drum is rotated on top of the rollers using your hands or your feet.

    Base rolling tumblers tend to cost less than the two types of tumblers mentioned above.

    All of the above tumblers are considered "drum" types, because the main composting container is in the shape of a drum. Usually, these types of tumblers are compared to sphere-shaped tumblers.


  • Sphere-shaped - These tumblers are quite primitive in design. Basically, you fill a large plastic sphere with your compost ingredients and roll it around your yard. Unfortunately, these spheres are not completely round and tend to roll in non-linear patterns. The sphere that we tested, rolled directly on top of our kale transplants. needless to say, it was a very sad day.
    Sphere-shaped tumblers typically range in price from $75-$200 US.

    An example of a sphere-shaped tumbler is the Bio-Orb Monster Compost Bin.

    Are Compost Tumblers Worth the Cost?

    The answer is that it all depends on your individual abilities and situation.

    NOTE: When tumblers have been put in head-to-head tests against standard well-managed compost bins or open piles, tumblers did NOT perform any better. Please refer to this wonderful article by Mother Earth News.

    We agree with Mother Earth News, and feel that the secret to tumblers is the turning frequency. That is, a compost tumbler usually appears to generate compost more quickly than an open pile, simply because the ingredients get turned more often. Assuming you have a well made tumbler, there is a better chance that you will turn its contents more often than you would turn the compost in your bin or pile. That's because turning compost with a tumbler happens more quickly and doesn't require as much effort. This is definitely one of the perks to well made compost tumblers.


    Don't you just love that part. If you have a compost bin or pile, and are willing to turn it every couple days (especially during the first couple weeks after it has been assembled), you will produce compost in the same amount of time as a tumbler. So are you able and willing to turn your compost bin or pile every couple days? If so, you may not want to invest in a tumbler.

    Now let's consider the second part of the equation. your situation.

    If you live in the city or in a small urban lot, a compost tumbler may be just the thing for you. However, if you live in the country or have a large lot, a compost tumbler may not be necessary. Needless to say, a compost tumbler does save space. They also help to contain any odors that may come from the composting process.

    In conclusion, if you meet the following criteria, a compost tumbler will be well worth the cost.

    • You want to make compost in a relatively short period of time (approximately 2.5 months if all materials are added at once)

  • You don't have the energy, time, or desire to turn your compost pile every couple days

  • You live in an urban area where neighbors are close-by

  • You live on a small lot or want to save space

    What if I Want to Build a Compost Tumbler?

    As you can see from Lloyd's ingenious invention in the above video, building a tumbler is quite possible. If you love do-it-yourself projects, or just want to save some money, your best option is to build a tumbler from scratch. Now, don't think you have to build a tumbler like the one from the video, instead, start small and slowly allow your creative mind to run amuck.

    Here is a set of step-by-step instructions that will teach you how to build a very simple homemade tumbler .

    The most difficult part of building your own tumbler is finding the appropriately sized drum or container (aside from the DIY tumbler instructions mentioned above). We've heard of several different sources for such large containers, but your best bet is to head out to your nearest industrial area and start knocking on doors. Oftentimes, the companies in these areas receive various parts and materials in huge drums, and they're usually willing to part with them. We read about one compost junkie who gets his bins from the local car wash. Apparently, all of their soap comes in these large industrial-sized containers.

    Do You Have a Plan or Design For Your Tumbler?

    If you were to search the net using the phrase "plans for building a tumbler ", you would find 101 different designs. The key is to stick to the basics. Always remember what compost needs when outside of a tumbler, then be sure to mimic those conditions inside your tumbler. For instance, you need to ensure your tumbler can sufficiently aerate your compost. How will your design accomplish this?

    If you're ever in doubt, be sure to check out

    our tumbler plans page for a great DIY project. We are continually adding new designs, so please be sure to check back regularly.

    Size Does Matter

    Lastly, we would like to discuss back-porch compost tumblers. These are tumblers that are much more compact than your ordinary tumbler. Back-porch tumblers are ideally suited for people living in apartments or condos (assuming you have access to a small porch or balcony).

    Since space is an issue, your tumbler will be much smaller. Therefore, it's going to be quite difficult to generate enough heat based solely on the volume of your ingredients. This means it will take a little longer to produce your compost. But it can be done! For more information, please refer to our back-porch tumbler page.

    Five Free e-booklets

    Interested in learning more about compost and compost tumblers?

    What if we told you you're just one click away from being able to download five free compost e-booklets?

    All you have to do is click on the Composting 101 booklet to the right and read our Free Goodies page.

    Best Compost Tumbler Reviews

    When it comes to composter reviews it is the compost tumblers that are one of the hardest compost makers to decide upon for many people. In this article we will look at what we have found to be by far the best compost tumbler and the model that is the most purchased and most likely to produce the best results. We will also look at just why our pick is the best choice for most people. Not only is this the best compost tumbler, it is, in our opinion the best composter bar none. You may also like to look at the SoilSaver compost bin as well, if you are more limited for space or simply want a very no frills approach, although the compost will take longer to be produced than with a compost tumbler.

    The Achla horizontal compost tumbler is by far our best pick for many people who want to buy a compost tumbler. If you click the link you can see more details and read compost tumbler reviews of this horizontal model. You can also buy for the best price online. With many of us now having heard that we can make compost in a matter of just a few weeks with a compost tumbler (which is true) we want to pick a model that is going to be the best possible choice for us so let’s take a look at why this is probably going to be the best possible choice.

    Why Pick The Achla Compost Tumbler

    The fact is that many vertical compost tumblers have one main disadvantage and that is the fact that they are upright. This means that as they fill up they are a little difficult to spin to get the optimal results. They are fine for the strong among us but if we have a slight build they can be slightly difficult to move and this means that the contents cannot be mixed or tumble easily which is at the heart of making compost quickly.

    Our best compost tumbler reviews are geared towards making life as easy as possible and this is where the Achla compost tumbler comes in to play.

    It is a horizontal model so it is very easy to tumble the contents. We simply turn a handle and the contents are mixed up easily. This means we get no hot or cold spots within the composting tumbler. And this is at the heart of getting good results.

    We will find that each time we add our organic waste we can simply give a quick spin of the handle and the contents are all mixed up and chopped together. This will allow us to make compost in record time and also means that we do not need to exert any effort in the process.

    And amazingly the Achla spinning compost tumbler is one of the cheapest models available so it is a very good choice indeed. Click on the above link to read what others have to say and you should find that this is by far one of the best compost tumblers that you could possibly buy. You may also like to look at the RotoComposter if you have more limited space, it sits close to the floor, works like the Achla model, but is available in a number of sizes and is still one of the best compost tumblers you can buy.

    Best Compost Tumbler Reviews

    Compost tumbler

    The Amazing Benefits of Composting

    With all of the talk about going green, reducing your carbon footprint and helping to reduce climate change these days, more and more people are considering the possibility of using compost tumblers in their back yard. We're going to talk about some of the benefits of composting here and then look at some of the best methods of creating compost from your kitchen scraps, yard waste, and many other sources.

    What are the benefits creating compost? One of the most prominent reasons to compost is that you are creating a natural fertilizer for your yard and garden. The nutrients from the food waste and yard waste is naturally turned back into the same plant nutrients that you get when you purchase commercial fertilizer from the hardware store, except that the compost form of these nutrients is completely natural and much less harmful to the environment. Why is it less harmful to the environment? Because commercial fertilizers are made from ingredients that require a vast expenditure of energy to produce them. The main nutrients in plant fertilizer are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

    Most nitrogen production uses natural gas as it's base ingredient, and then nitrogen is forced to react with the gas at high temperatures and pressure, requiring lots of energy. Phosphorus and potassium are mined from big open pit mines using heavy machinery requiring massive amounts of diesel fuel for transporting and processing.

    The traditional end result, sadly, is that food waste and yard waste end up going to the landfill via garbage trucks. This is a one way stream, is very wasteful, and results in unnessesary energy use. So by composting, you are putting an end to this wasteful one-way stream of energy use and putting nutrients directly back into the soil, for your yard and garden to naturally thrive on. By doing so, you are also saving money on expensive store bought fertilizer. You are moving one more step toward self sufficiency by not needing to go to the store and buy something that can be produced in your back yard. And you are indirectly reducing carbon emissions.

    The traditional and most common method of composting is to simply pile the material up, say, in a corner of your yard. This will work, but there are many disadvantages, such as odors, a messy looking yard, and unwanted vermin feeding or nesting in the pile. There is a much better, quicker, and cleaner way to creat compost. That is with a device known as a compost tumbler. The compost tumbler makes it super easy to create the conditions needed to create compost in quick order. Organic matter such as food waste, fruit peels and grass clippings need air and a modest amount of moisture to decompost properly. The composting process also creates heat, and this heat needs to be distributed evenly for the best results. By turning every few days, the heat is dispersed evenly, and air is introduced into the compost, and the process proceeds much more rapidly. In addition, the compost tumbler saves the back-breaking work of shoveling and turning the compost pile.

    Most compost tumblers consist of a cylinder of some sort that is mounted on a spindle that can be turned by a handle or crank on one end. The unit will have an opening that will allow addition and removal of material from the cylinder. This opening will be able to close tightly to prevent the compost from spilling out during the turning process. The cylinder will also have small holes spaced evenly around it to allow for circulation of air. So when the unit is closed up, which will be most of the time, rats and other vermin will be prevented from getting inside. The conditions provided by a compost tumbler will allow the composting process to be completed much more quickly, on the order of two weeks rather than months, that would be the norm for a simple compost pile.

    What Is a Compost Tumbler?

    Is taking out the trash a dreaded chore in your home? If you’re still throwing out your kitchen scraps, chances are it is.

    If you’re like most American households, food waste represents up to 55% of your weekly haul of trash. And it’s what’s largely responsible for the unpleasant qualities of garbage – nasty odors, leaks and weight.

    Separating out and composting your food waste and other compostable material makes taking out the trash a breeze. Composting safely breaks down this material and leaves you with rich, dark compost that will make your garden and houseplants thrive. It also helps save precious landfill space and cuts down on the amount of climate-changing methane caused by improperly-breaking-down organic waste. But composting in traditional compost bins has its own set of problems.

    You see, things don’t rot very well without air. Composting in bins requires that the pile be turned periodically with a pitchfork or shovel to introduce oxygen into the mix– a messy, backbreaking job. And unless you’re a fanatic about pitchfork wielding, your pile probably won’t get turned often enough to turn your garbage into compost in less than a season. Most piles take several months to a year to mature once you’ve stopped adding to them. That means you’ll eventually need two bins – one for your maturing compost and one to add new material to.

    Enter the compost tumbler. A compost tumbler is a type of compost bin made with the user in mind. Instead of laboriously moving the material within the bin, the user turns the bin itself, usually by turning a crank on one end.

    Many homeowners find compost tumblers preferable to traditional bins, for the following reasons:


  • Compost tumblers are much easier to use. If you’ve never tried to turn a 500-pound pile of potato peelings, coffee grounds and dead leaves upside down inside a great big wooden or plastic compost bin using only a pitchfork - without spreading the whole rotting pile all over your lawn and then having to somehow gather it all back up again, you can’t begin to imagine the difference. Compare that scene to simply turning the crank on your compost tumbler a few times each time you add to your pile. Much cleaner and infinitely easier. Plus, kids love it – you might find they’ll beat you to the job!

  • Compost tumblers get the job done in a fraction of the time. Because the compost tumbler’s frequent turning keeps the pile aerated, you’ll get finished compost you can use in your garden or for your potted plants in just weeks instead of months or years – so you don’t have to wait for results.

  • Emptying the compost tumbler is a piece of cake compared to shoveling out a compost bin. Most compost tumblers are elevated in a frame, so all you have to do is set a bucket or small wheelbarrow under it and open the hatch – gravity does the hard work for you!

  • Compost tumblers discourage animal pests. Most compost bins allow easy access to rodents, skunks, stray dogs and other critters you may not want hanging out in your yard. Compost tumblers eliminate this problem. Their sealed bins keep unwanted visitors out and compostable materials in, so your yard stays neat and clean.
    And here’s a space- and money-saving hint: you might want to look for a compost tumbler with a double drum design. This feature allows you to harvest finished compost from the same bin you’re adding to – so the average homeowner need only buy one once. Although who knows – you may find yourself enjoying your composting hobby so much that you buy a second one anyway – and make taking out the trash easier for your neighbors, too!

    Dual Batch Compost Tumbler Review

    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    Dual Batch Compost Tumbler produces high quality compost quickly and efficiently every time. It’s like owning two composters for the cost of one. Its dual bin lets you to let one bin “cook” while you add fresh materials to the other side.

    What I also like about this  composter is both Bins of Dual Batch Tumbler Rotate Separately. So you can manage different stages of compost cooking comfortably.

    Batch composting is the fastest and most efficient way to produce high quality compost, and this dual bin tumbler makes it easy.

    Fill one side with kitchen scraps and yard waste, then stop adding materials and let it “cook,” turning it every few days to speed up the decomposition process. In the meantime, add new scraps to the other side. When the first batch of compost is finished, remove it and repeat the process, letting the other side cook.

    Each of the two bins can hold up to 3 cubic feet (i.e. 22 dry gallons) easily.

    what is compost tumbler.[read]

    Click Here to Check Best Discounted price for Dual Batch Compost Tumbler on Amazon.com

    We found it very easy to assemble; it took total 10 minutes to set it up completely from ox to being operational.

    How to make your own home made compost tumbler step by step.

    This is a step by step instructional video on how to make a home made compost tumbler with a 55 gallon drum (or similar) and some plywood. You can also visit our web site at COMPOSTisCOOL.com

    Very Easy to operate and move around, Bin doors operate easily, seal well, and are permanently labeled with start and finishto help in remembering which bin to use.

    The double bays allow for done compost and working compost. It seems there is always enough done on hand.

    Turning the composter bins is easy compared to the larger sizes. That is a big consideration and unless you are a strongman, the large size composters are very difficult to turn when half full.

    We placed bricks under the legs to stave off rust. We keep the composter under one of our decks and do not put food into it, so no smell.

    This is a very good value and I expect a long life for it. It is heavy duty to say the least. Perfect for my small yard and is not noticeable sitting against the side of the house. I highly recommend this product!

    It will also produce just enough compost to fertilize my small scale backyard garden. Easy to open and close, just have used one side so far but it is working well. Even almost completely full, it still spins easily.

    We love it! Perfect for my small yard and is not noticeable sitting against the side of the house. Dual Batch Compost Tumbler makes composting life, much easier to palate; I highly recommend this to everyone who is looking for dual composter.

    Click Here to Buy Dual Batch Compost Tumbler on Amazon.com

    Dual Batch Compost Tumbler Review. reviewed by Michelle Ryan rating 5.0 out of 5

    Ingredients for a Compost Tumbler

    Compost tumblers often come with advertisements of speedier compost production--from kitchen waste to "black gold" in 14 days. Reports on the veracity of that claim vary; however, some advantages are guaranteed. A compost tumbler is convenient if you have limited space to compost in. It keeps pests out and odor in. And it makes the all-important job of mixing and aerating the compost a snap.

    Green Stuff

    About a quarter of your tumbler's contents should be organic waste high in nitrogen and moisture, known commonly as "green stuff." This means almost all of your kitchen waste: vegetable scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea leaves and tea bags. It also includes any garden, yard, or farm waste that's still wet and green: hay, grass clippings, weeds and pruned stems. Give your tumbler a turn or two after adding a lot of grass clippings. Otherwise, these may form a solid matted layer that suffocates the oxygen-loving microorganisms that make your compost.

    Brown Stuff

    About three quarters of what you put in your tumbler should be dry, carbon-rich "brown stuff". This includes dry leaves, sawdust, straw, wood chips, shredded newspaper and cardboard. Unpleasant odors are a sign you need to add more brown stuff. You can also add more to absorb excess water if your compost is too wet.


    Check your compost periodically; it should remain about as moist as a wrung-out sponge. Add a small amount of water if it's too dry. It's likely you won't have to very often. The water in the green stuff you add will usually suffice, especially considering that a compost tumbler tends to retain moisture well.


    Materials in a compost tumbler are isolated from the microorganism-rich soil. Toss in a handful of dirt to help jump-start the process.

    Compost Activators

    Optionally, you can give the composting process a boost by adding ingredients high in nitrogen, microorganisms or both. You can buy commercial products (for examples, click the Amazon.com link in the Resources section), or you can add such materials as seaweed, aged manure, blood meal, alfalfa meal or cottonseed meal.


    Oxygen is of course an essential ingredient in aerobic composting. Ease of aeration is the most distinctive advantage of a compost tumbler. Every time you turn the crank or roll the barrel, you add air.


    Human and pet manure carry diseases, as do infected plants. Pernicious weeds may resprout. Do not add these things unless you know for sure that your compost will reach and maintain the very high temperatures required to kill pathogens and weed seeds (140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit). Most compost experts recommend against meat and fish scraps, fatty food wastes, milk products and bones. However, the biggest reasons, that they attract pests and smell bad, don't apply in container compost systems such as tumblers. These meat and dairy items do bring a risk of "overheating" your compost, though, so if you choose to add them, monitor your compost's temperature and add brown stuff to bring it down if necessary. Do not add pressure-treated lumber, colored papers, or coal ash. These contain toxins that could hurt your garden. Lastly, leave out any inorganic materials such as glass, rocks, and metals. These will not break down.

    The Urban Compost Tumbler

    A 9,5 Cubic Foot Totally Recycled American Made Solution

    The Urban Compost Tumbler gives what most of us are looking for with a compost tumbler namely a way to make compost quickly and conveniently. This compost tumbler encloses the usual compost mess in an attractive or at least unobtrusive way and transforms it in a reasonable length of time into usable compost.

    I doubt there is a perfect compost tumbler but the Urban Compost Tumbler goes a long way. Just remember compost tumblers help break down materials one small batch at a time. Check out our tips for tumblers page for advice on how best to make your tumbler work well.

    Urban Compost Tumbler - UCT-9 - Specifications

    • Made in the USA from 100% recycled HDPE #2 plastic (except for the optional pivot rod sleeves)

    • Capacity - 9.5 cu. ft. 7.6 bushels, 71 gallons, 269 liters

    • Dimensions

    • Base 33 by 34 inches (84 by 87 cm)

    • Height 43 inches (110 cm)

  • Weight - 70 pounds, 32 kilos

    Features and Benefits of the UCT-9


  • No rust prone metal parts.

  • Simple design is almost maintenance free.

  • Patented Central aeration system helps keep compost aerobic.

  • Fully enclosed off the ground design eliminates potential pests like raccoons.

  • Seals in any offensive odors that may happen from time to time.

  • Helps keep the right moisture levels - seals in moisture in dry areas, seals out rain in wet areas.

  • The black unit helps heat up and maintain heat inside composter.

  • Composts both yard and kitchen waste.

  • 60 day, purchase price satisfaction guarantee.

  • 10 year Warranty

    Common Problems with the Urban Compost Tumbler UCT - 9 - and How to Solve Them.

    Tumbling the Tumbler

    The UCT tumbles end over end. It is sort of like a big pendulum that you have to get to flip. To do this you stand to the side of the unit and start it rocking. It is something like pushing child on a swing. Once it is rocking well you give it an extra push down and over it goes - usually.

    This can get challenging for smaller people (and even some tall strapping young men) as the full compost tumbler is heavy.

    Ironically it works best when the composter is full. The load is balanced better and so it flips more easily. Here is an 8 second clip showing how the composter flips.

    As the material in the composter breaks down it will settle to the bottom. It then at times gets hard to turn. One option is just to leave it for a week or so and trust the aeration core to keep things from going anaerobic and then empty the composter and start your next batch.

    The lid is round atop a round barrel. However, once the urban compost tumbler is full, and especially in hot weather, the barrel part distorts and becomes slightly oval while the lid remains very round.

    This is very irritating. Strategies to solve this include getting a partner to squeeze the barrel to a round shape while you get the lid back on. Adding material in the cooler morning or evening temperatures also helps.

    Getting the Compost Out

    The UCT-9 is not set high enough to be able to set a wheelbarrow under it to catch the compost and the inner aeration tube makes it hard to get a tool in to remove the compost a shovel full at a time.

    Use a tarp. Set it under the composter, take off the lid, flip it upside down and let gravity do most of the work.


    The Urban Compost Tumbler UCT-9 model is a durable model with a 10 year warranty. If used well it should bring you satisfaction for many seasons.

    What is a Compost Tumbler?

    Learn something new every day More Info. by email

    If you have a flower garden, grass or a vegetable garden, a compost tumbler can be a very sound investment. It is basically a bin that you spin around to keep your fertilizer turned without the need for backbreaking pitchfork work. You simply spin the bin and your compost is mixed! There are many other advantages to buying a compost tumbler.

    No one wants a huge pile of compost sitting in his or her garden. The compost tumbler can be placed in a discreet part of the garden. Compost tumblers also come in a variety of sizes and designs to compliment your personal taste. Most compost tumblers come with attached wheels, making them easier to move around the garden. Instead of lugging a pitchfork full of compost, you can move the compost tumbler to the desired area and empty the compost directly.

    A big problem with compost left out in the open air is that it dries quickly in hot weather. Compost needs to be kept damp, and this is easy to achieve with a compost tumbler. If the weather is wet, the compost kept in the tumbler will not become heavy with water. Another plus, especially for the neighbors, is that the compost tumbler eradicates the smell of open-air fertilizer. Any smell from the compost will be kept locked inside the bin.

    The compost tumbler will also be a great deterrent for pets or animals that roam around your garden. A compost tumbler also makes it easy to collect compost liquid or, as it is sometimes known, compost tea. This is not some new age type of drink; it is a nutrient filled liquid produced by compost. It can easily be drained from the tumbler and used on your flowers, vegetables or grass. The compost tumbler can also be set to disperse the liquid straight into the ground.

    With the turn of a handle, your compost will be aired and mixed. The tumbler makes compost ready to use more quickly than an open-air pile of compost. Depending on its size, the compost tumbler has the capability to produce up to 900 pounds (408 kg) of compost in a year. Compost tumblers are an inexpensive, environmentally friendly way to keep your garden looking good.

    What Is an Urban Compost Tumbler?

    Article Details

    • Written By: Mary McMahon

    • Edited By: Kristen Osborne

    • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2014

    • Copyright Protected:

    Learn something new every day More Info. by email

    An urban compost tumbler is a piece of composting equipment designed for settings with limited space, such as urban backyards and decks. The unit turns, allowing people to rotate and aerate compost without having to do so by hand with a pitchfork or shovel. This makes it much easier to maintain a compost pile and can speed the rate at which composted components break down over time. When the compost has broken down, providing a layer of rich soil, people can extract it and use it for gardening.

    A common design for an urban compost tumbler consists of a barrel held in a frame. People add layers of organic material like kitchen scraps, grass clippings, leaves, and newspaper. Periodically, they spin the barrel, allowing the layers to mix and redistribute themselves. Care must be taken during this process, as holes for aeration can leak fluids and fragments of material and it may get messy. Over time, the contents of the compost tumbler will break down into useful compost.

    The small footprint of an urban compost tumbler is useful for areas where people have very limited space. The enclosed design also keeps the compost neat and limits smell, two common concerns for people who want to compost in urban environments. This piece of equipment can be used in other settings as well, and can be useful for gardeners who lack the physical strength to turn a compost pile by hand or who want to cut down on the space taken up by a compost pile in the garden.

    Several manufacturers produce urban compost tumbler designs, and it is also possible to make one, for people who are comfortable with do-it-yourself projects. A circular container for compost is needed, along with a frame to suspend it so it can be spun. A very basic design can be made by cutting out wooden rounds, attaching them with dowels, and stretching netting over the frame. A hinged flap can be created for adding compost. As the compost breaks down, dirt will naturally trickle through the mesh and collect under the compost tumbler.

    People who are just starting to compost with an urban compost tumbler should remember to use a good mixture of green materials like kitchen scraps, as well as things like leaves and paper. The compost may dry out, in which case it needs to be watered, or become wet and slimy, requiring paper or grass clippings to absorb some of the moisture. Compost also tends to get warm when it is healthy, and people may notice steam around the compost tumbler on cold mornings.

    What Is The Top Compost Tumbler

    Why Choose a Compost Tumbler?

    What is the advantage of a compost tumbler. Turning your compost pile is an arduous task, but very necessary.  Turning will make your compost ready much sooner as it gets aeration into the process and also combines the hot material that is already  breaking down with the fresh garden waste as you add more and more to the pile. This will speed up your composting, by making the more recent material break down faster than by just leaving it.

    However with a traditional compost bin or pile, it can be hard to do this seemingly simple task. Just getting a fork into the compost pile  can be difficult, let alone turning it! Secondly the build up of heat  can be quickly lost, which will mean your compost will take longer  before it is ready. Also remember that an open pile or a compost bin let small animals (especially rodents) get into the heap.

    A compost tumbler is an easy and effective solution to the above problems. Not only is turning your compost a whole lot easier than turning a compost pile with a fork, but it retains the heat and  also is a totally effective barrier to rodents.


    what is compost tumbler.[read]• It will accelerate your composting time. In ideal conditions it can be only three weeks from waste to ready to use compost! Of course there are factors which affect this timescale. Such things as weather (ie temperature, humidity) and balancing carbon and nitrogen waste will have an impact.

    • There won’t be any unpleasant smell which some don’t like wafting around the garden!

    • Compact and tidy, a good looking alternative to a normal compost pile

    • Very good for smaller gardens especially if you live in a suburban or urban area

    Is there any downside?

    • They are pricier to buy than a compost bin. More heavy duty construction together with the necessary stand/legs or bases with the actual “roller” mechanism whatever particular design you choose. These are also all excellent reasons to buy a compost tumbler though!

    Recommended Design: An Aerated Drum Tumbler

    Whereas the most basic compost tumblers are just a spinning drum which will provide some benefit over a compost pile, they do not have any specific aeration method. This results in slower composting than aerated models.

    Aerated versions will have a way of getting air into the barrel and therefore to your garden waste. As mentioned previously this is of great importance to accelerate the process. Obviously with a quicker process you will get more compost per year.

    Recommended Aerated Compost Tumbler

    Balancing a great price with superb design and excellent performance the Lifetime 60058 Compost Tumbler has an easy turning 80 gallon (10.72 cubic ft) drum made from UV-protected high-density polyethylene (HDPE) panels. These panels are double walled which help to both absorb and then hold in the heat that helps with the composting process. It also features an aerating bar which also doubles as a mixer when you rotate the drum.

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